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Mukesh Khanna quits as children’s film society chief, says unable to ‘execute ideas’

The actor whose term was scheduled to end in April, was reportedly unhappy with the ministry’s proposal to merge the CFSI with the films division.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2018 23:11 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mukesh Khanna,Children’s Film Society of India,Shaktimaan
Mukesh Khanna, known for his portrayals of Bhishma Pitamaha in Mahabharata and the superhero Shaktiman in television serials, was unhappy with limiting the screening of children’s films to schools alone.(File Photo)

Actor Mukesh Khanna has resigned as chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI), with just over two months of his three-year term left.

Khanna said he was quitting his position because he was unable to “execute his ideas for the society”, but refused
to elaborate on the reason.

The ministry of information and broadcasting, under which the CFSI acts as an autonomous body, is yet to accept his resignation.

An official familiar with the matter said Khanna, whose term was scheduled to end in April, was unhappy with the ministry’s proposal to merge the CFSI with the films division.

Although government think-tank NITI Aayog had suggested the merger last year, the idea was initially turned down by the ministry because with the two bodies having mandates that had nothing to do with each other, a merger may not be in the best interest of smooth functions.

The CFSI produces children’s films, while the films division creates projects on government programmes.

However, the ministry is said to have reconsidered its position on the matter.

Ministry officials did not respond to phone calls and text messages from HT.

The second bone of contention was lack of money, the official said. “Khanna had been asking the ministry to revisit the allocation as he found the current budget of around Rs 10 crore a year insufficient for making films that can be released in cinemas,” he said.

According to another official in the know, Khanna was unhappy with limiting the screening of children’s films to schools alone.

The veteran actor, known for his portrayals of Bhishma Pitamaha in Mahabharata and the superhero Shaktiman in television serials, wanted them to be showcased in cinemas too.

The CFSI started functioning in 1955, and its maiden production, Jaldeep, bagged the first prize for the best children’s film at the 1957 Venice Film Festival.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 23:11 IST